Dan Rather on UFO Days

If you’ve ever wondered why Elmwood claims to be the UFO Capital of the World, here’s a quick history lesson. Take a trip back in time to check out CBS News April 8, 1988: Dan Rather’s feature on UFO Days and Elmwood’s proposed UFO landing site. OK, he once refers to the town as “Elwood,” but we’ll give him a pass.

2019 UFO Days Buttons On Sale

The 2019 UFO Days button design is a classic: “Hear no UFOs; see no UFOs, speak no UFOs.” So say the spacemen. You can purchase these buttons at local Elmwood businesses, but don’t wait until supplies run out. Proceeds go toward the event. 

Bill Johnson answers question, ‘Why UFO Days’

 By Kaye Bird, Contributor, Gateway News
Saturday, July 25, 2015 12:01 AM

Bill Johnson, retired professor at UW/Stout will be presenting a talk entitled, “Why UFO Days” on Saturday and Sunday this upcoming weekend. Don’t miss it! Photo by Kaye Bird

MENOMONIE, WI – Bill Johnson, retired professor from UW/Stout has the answer for anyone who has ever wondered, “Why does Elmwood celebrate UFO Days?”

Remember the tagline from The X-Files, “The Truth is Out There?” On Saturday afternoon, July 25, 2015 that “truth” will be revealed. And the truth is this—there have been several UFO sightings in the Elmwood area.

“Roswell, New Mexico has had one sighting; Elmwood has had several,” said Johnson adding, “You have to wonder why. Some people say it’s because of its location—it’s in a valley.” To that Johnson would reply, “So is Spring Valley and Plum City, and I haven’t heard of any sightings in those towns.”

It was in 1974 when Johnson decided that he wanted to be a UFO researcher. He flew to Tucson, Arizona and stayed with a friend. “To me the most impressive and widely respected group at that time was the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization or APRO Read More

George Wheeler’s Alien Ordeal

Reposted from Phantoms and Monsters

This case / report was exhaustively investigated by several researchers including Robert Pratt, who did exceptionally thorough interviews with all individuals important to the case, and Mr. Jack Bostrak, a Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. I have included some of the APRO Bulletin from April 1976. I have also added a link at the end of the post to a site with more information. The important elements of this case are:

(1) The primary witness reported a UFO in April 1975, thus making him a “repeater”. (Some researchers, and Dr. J. Allen Hynek in particular, have reservations concerning the believability of witnesses where they claim more than one sighting. It is our contention that during heightened UFO activity in a particular area, an individual could easily have more than one sighting.) (2) The object, or the glow from it, was seen by at least two other witnesses. (3) There apparently were electro-mechanical effects on an automobile and possibly on television reception, and (4) possible animal reaction.

At about 11 p.m. on April 22, 1976, George Wheeler, a relief policeman at the town of Elmwood, population 737, located in west central Wisconsin about 60 miles east of the Mississippi River, spotted an orange glow at the top of Tuttle Hill. Mr. Wheeler is a veteran of 30 years police work in New York state and Wisconsin, and the former one-man police force in Elmwood where he now performs as reserve officer, filling in for the present chief when necessary. He was also a combat pilot in World War II.

Thinking that the glow was a large fire, he drove to the top of Tuttle Hill, but when he arrived there he found a strange glowing object which he estimated was about 500 feet distant and hovering about 100 feet off the ground. He said it was between a limestone quarry and a farmhouse in the area. Wheeler later said that there were six bluish-white lights, windows or portholes on the side and he could see shadows as if someone was moving inside of it. In the middle of the side facing him there appeared to be some kind of a panel that was open and Wheeler said that inside he could see something which was revolving slowly and had fin-like parts on it similar to a turbine.

What Wheeler interpreted to be legs on the craft were partially extended from the main body of the object and there was a long, black, hose-like appendage on the bottom. The main part of the craft was silver in color.

All the while he was observing, Mr. Wheeler remembered some advice given him by Bostrak the preceding April when he had his first experience: if he should have a similar experience in the future, he should attempt to observe as many details as possible.

When Wheeler first saw the object as he arrived at the top of the hill he radioed the sheriff’s department headquarters in Ellsworth and described what he was observing. Suddenly the object started to rise straight up at extremely high speed and at this time there was a bluish flash, whereupon the squad car, the lights, and the radio went dead. Wheeler claims that he doesn’t remember any more until somebody asked him if he needed any help. He thinks he recalls saying something of this nature when he radioed the sheriffs office: “My God, it’s another one of these UFOs or spacecraft.” He estimates that he observed the object for perhaps 45 seconds, and recalls that it made a “whooshing” sound when it left. Although the main body of the craft was silvery in color, the top of it glowed an orangish-white, and so brilliant that it was difficult for him to look at that part because it was “like looking into the sun.” He could not discern whether the hose-like appendage was touching the ground because it extended down to where it was obscured by trees.

The limestone quarry where the object was hovering is an active quarry, that is, it is still being worked. In the neighborhood, the nearest farm is that of the O’Bryan family and when Bostrak interviewed Mr. O’Bryan he said that he hadn’t seen anything because he was watching television, and casually noted that he recalled the time because he was watching the Perry Mason show which comes on at 11 p.m. and that several minutes after 11, his television set quit for a short time. When Bostrak visited another farm with Wheeler they learned nothing from the adults, but the 9-year-old boy said something about his sister coming home from “some doings” in town and when she came into the yard the dogs did not act normally. Always before, the dogs would run up to her and jump up for attention and petting but on that night they would not respond to her calls and merely barked for some time.

The first person to see George Wheeler after the accident was David Moots, 36, a dairy farmer at Elmwood. Moots had taken the babysitter home a few minutes before that and he had seen Wheeler’s squad car parked elsewhere with lights on, etc., so when he saw the car parked on the top of the hill with the lights out and blocking that lane of the road, he decided to stop. Moots said that Wheeler was trying to get out of the car and there seemed to be something wrong with him. Knowing that Wheeler had once had a heart attack, he thought he might be having another so he stopped and asked what was wrong. Moots said that Wheeler said that he’d been hit. He responded with a question: “Hit by a car?7′ Wheeler then said, “No, one of those UFOs.”

Original sketch by George Wheeler
APRO Bulletin 1976

When interviewed, Moots said that he’d heard that a lot of people had seen UFOs in the area before so that was no particular surprise but the being “hit” by a UFO took him aback a bit. He said that Wheeler appeared to be dazed, and because although he did not know him well, he had had sufficient contact with him to know that he was not acting normally.

A second witness to the incident is Mrs. Miles Wergland, a housewife who lives just outside of Elmwood to the North. She claimed that at about 11 o’clock she heard the cuckoo clock strike and got up to go to the kitchen to take some medicine when she happened to glance out the kitchen window and spotted a “bright orange moon-shaped” object on the hill (Tuttle). She said she observed it for a “few minutes”, then went back to bed and did not even bother to wake her husband because she said she had seen strange things in the area before and he had merely told her to go back to bed, she was seeing the moon, without ever checking for himself.

The third witness to the actual object is Paul Fredrickson, who is administrator of the Heritage of Elmwood Nursing Home in Elmwood. Mr. Fredrickson was at his home when the police chief’s wife called him and asked him to go to his front porch and look out the window and see what he could see. Fredrickson did as he was asked, and saw what he later described as “an orange glow, like a half-moon, like a moon cut in half” on Tuttle Hill. He said he knew it was not a house on fire as there were no flames leaping up. He went back to the telephone and by that time his wife had gotten out of bed and the two of them went back to the window and the thing was gone. Fredrickson feels that the length of time that he spent on the telephone might have been from 3 to 5 minutes.

In the course of the investigation, Mr. Pratt found that Mr. Fredrickson had had another experience along with his son in October, 1975, at which time they were in the same general vicinity, and driving home from the Nursing Home where Mr. Fredrickson had worked overtime. His son suddenly pointed out “something” coming up over the horizon. At the time, they were on Tuttle Hill and looking eastward “right over the top of our house”. Fredrickson said his first impression was that it was the full moon rising but then realized it couldn’t be because the object was rising very rapidly. He stopped the car and they got out, the boy getting a better look because Mr. Fredrickson was busy with braking, turning off on to the side of the road, etc. Mr. Fredrickson described it at first as a big orange light coming toward them, but when it was overhead it looked like the bottom of a huge, gray plate which he estimated was about 100 feet across. He thinks perhaps it may have been between 500 and 1,000 feet in altitude and when it was directly overhead they could hear a roaring sound much like the roar of a waterfall. The Fredrickson boy said that the object gave off a blue and green beam from the side of it at one point, but this was while his father was engaged in stopping the car. The object faded into the distance rather quickly, they said; having originally come from the east, it disappeared into the west. Fredrickson did not make careful note of the date at the time, but feels it was around the 20th of October and that the experience took place between 10 and 10:30 p.m.

The next individual to become involved in the Wheeler incident was Police Chief Gene Helmer of Elmwood. He had been at home and monitoring the “police scanner” when he heard Wheeler say that he was watching a UFO. Helmer said Wheeler had started to describe the object but the radio went dead. The Sheriffs Department was trying to contact Wheeler by radio also, and Helmer tried to get Wheeler back, but to no avail. Helmer decided he had better go and see what was wrong when Wheeler came back on the radio momentarily and said, “Get somebody up here — I’ve been hit.”

Helmer, who lives about a quarter of a mile from Tuttle Hill, left immediately and when he arrived at the scene, Moots was trying to soothe Mr. Wheeler. Helmer said that he had never seen a man as frightened as Wheeler was. He said further that he had worked with Wheeler under various trying conditions but had never seen him so upset. Another interesting aspect of Chief Helmer’s interview was his description of the condition of the patrol car. Although they had had the car tuned up not long before the incident, it was necessary to replace all points and plugs in the car’s engine. The starter is beginning to act up also, whereas they had had no problem with it prior to the incident.

Wheeler’s wife arrived on the scene at about the time the Police Chief got there, as she had been listening to the police frequency on the Wheeler scanner. Wheeler was taken home and the family doctor, Frank Springer, was called. Mrs. Wheeler took her husband to Springer’s home where he examined Wheeler and gave him a shot to calm him and help him sleep. After they got home, Chief Helmer arrived and questioned Wheeler for about an hour and a half. At about 1 a.m. Mrs. Wheeler called Dr. Springer and said that her husband was still quite upset and Dr. Springer instructed her to take her husband to the hospital.

Wheeler was in the hospital for three days where tests were taken but nothing could be found wrong with him. He stayed for three days, was released, but went back to the hospital for a second stay of 11 days because of headaches he was suffering, as well as nightmares.

Dr. Springer, who has been Wheeler’s physician for 25 years, said that it was unusual for Wheeler to suffer headaches and the headaches he had which prompted him (the Dr.) to re-hospitalize him were continual and severe. Otherwise, however, Wheeler was rational and appeared normal.

One puzzling aspect of this case is the fact that although Wheeler recounted the entire experience to Helmer, who recorded it in writing, he could not recall any of the details of the experience later. – APRO Bulletin – April 1976


NOTE: As his health rapidly deteriorated for causes his doctors could not determine, Wheeler repeatedly told them, to their disbelief; that he was dying from the mysterious effects of internal injuries caused by alien beings. Within six months after his April encounter, Officer George Wheeler died of unknown causes.

UFO Days 2019 Schedule

It’s happening! The 2019 Schedule for Elmwood’s 41st Annual UFO Days is here, and it’s jam-packed with activities for everyone. UFO Days this year is July 26-28, the last full weekend in July. Bring the family for a weekend of out-of-the-world fun.

UFOs: Fact or fiction?

Wisconsin UFO News excerpt from Stillwater, MN Evening Gazette, 6/16/1988

Not since the Steven Spielberg movies Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. were released has so much attention been given to the possibility of extraterrestrials and UFOs. 

But some Elmwood, Wis., residents have decided to go on record with their reports of UFOs. 

It’s estimated that over the last two decades, the townspeople have seen anywhere from 30 to 50 strange-looking objects in the sky, and they’ve decided to speak out about it. Through the years, a series of “flaps” have taken place within Pierce County, and reports have continued to filter through, from Plum City and Ellsworth in the south to Elmwood and Spring Valley to the north. 

When you enter the village of Elmwood, it looks like any other small rural town you might run across in the midwest – a few blocks of business district with a sprinkling of hole-in-the-wall taverns. It won’t take long to find your way around in Elmwood. 

Hob Wilson says he has lived there since 1914. His only time away from Elmwood came during 44 months of active duty Army life during World War I. He says that he was glad to come back home. When you drive into Elmwood on Wisconsin Highway 128 from the west, you’ll recognize Hob’s place – it’s the one across the street from the biggest gas station in town and a stone’s throw from the grocery store on the corner. 

Proud of his garden and his ability to grow some of the largest turnips this side of the border, Hob spends much of his time weeding and planting these days. Today, he’s picked a fresh bunch of rhubarb and cleans it in the water bucket kept out front. 

He says the town hasn’t grown much at all over the years. But he’s noticed a lot more activity in town since news was released about the UFO sightings and how the town may be the site for a proposed UFO landing strip. He talks about Elmwood’s UFO Days held last year and says he shudders to think about how much traffic will come in this year. 

From underneath his worn straw hat and the big oak tree in his front yard, Hob recalls all of the comings and goings last year. He estimates that about 4,000 people showed up for the event, which kept him busy picking up hamburger wrappers and pop cans for days. 

There have been a lot of out-of-town visitors showing up lately, too. A few weeks ago, three men dressed in business suits approached him while he was cleaning those huge turnips, and one introduced himself as Dan Rather from CBS News. Hob says the crew, which arrived by helicopter, spent about three days taping and talking to Elmwood residents. He admits that it caused a bit of a stir in town. 

Other than a handful of media people who stop in town to chat with locals, Hob says he hasn’t seen so much excitement since his own UFO sighting in about 1972-74. 

“Nobody paid much attention to UFOs back then,” said Hob of the sightings. “They’d think you’re crazy if you talked about something like that. But it’s not that way anymore. I think more and more people are coming out about it.” 

According to Hob, he, too, has a UFO story to tell. He says he used to work at the nearby Spring Valley dam. When it was first built, it was Hob who greased the machinery and kept things running. He saw two UFOs in the same night and says he was less than 200 feet away from them. 

“Nobody paid much attention to those sightings back then,” said Hob. “I didn’t want to call in about it, so I more or less kept it to myself.” 

Hob says he expects the worst during UFO Days this year, so many people are interested in the UFO sightings. He’s heard that rooms are already filled up in neighboring towns like Menomonie. 

“It gives you an eerie feeling when you see something like that,” says Hob as he continues to rinse and clean a handful of rhubarb. “There’s something going on out there … and more people are willing to talk about it.” 

TOWN HOPES FOR ECONOMIC BOOST: UFO LANDING PAD

Rogers Worthington, Chicago Tribune CHICAGO TRIBUNE 5/31/1988

Planners of Elmwood`s annual UFO Days, strictly a local bash in previous years, are hoping for an invasion of celebrant earthlings this summer from far beyond the cozy hills of the Eau Galle Valley.

Just as other Wisconsin towns have Mosquito Days, Cucumber Days and other oddly named July festivals of food, parades and sporting events, Elmwood (pop. 991) has UFO Days, inspired by a wave of reported UFO sightings in the late 1970s.

The sightings brought Elmwood some media notice, but the town did not become renown until last February, when Wisconsin businessman Tom Weber unveiled a plan to raise $50 million for a two-square-mile, illuminated UFO landing site near Elmwood.

Weber said he needs $25 million to buy the land and build the buildings and another $25 million to operate the site for a number of years. He would not go into further detail about the financial aspects of the project.The site would have a giant, two-part panel depicting a friendly meeting between man and alien, Weber said. A third panel would be a landing site, which would be a circle 300 yards in diameter. Buildings housing scientists and radio and computer tracking devices would be placed nearby.

Weber, 50, has an abiding interest in the possibility of extra-terrestrial life. He lives in Chippewa Falls, 45 miles northeast of Elmwood, where he owns a small metal paint finishings firm.

He chose Elmwood for the site because, between the reported sightings and its UFO Days, which will be July 29-31 this year, it has ”a community that is fully acclimated to the phenomenon,” he said.

UFO talk and allusions are common in Elmwood, where claiming to see odd things in the sky is not necessarily viewed as a sign of oddness.It helped, of course, that the town`s mayor and village board were receptive to Weber`s plan. The idea of someone spending $50 million in a farm town, where the annual village budget is $283,411, seemed a fine one.

”We`re just thrilled with it,” said Wayne Nohelty, the town`s banker and a planning commission member, who sees the possibility of a tourist industry developing.

Elmwood is not the first Wisconsin town to try to capitalize on its reported UFO sightings. Belleville, in south-central Wisconsin, nearly passed a Kiwanis Club resolution declaring their town ”the UFO capital of the universe.” Officials there opted instead to allow club members to erect a statue of a flying saucer in the town park, complete with flashing lights.

But not everyone in Elmwood supports Weber`s plan.

”The whole thing lacks logic and any depth of real thinking about it,”

said Rev. James Thunstrom, pastor of the Elmwood United Methodist Church. Rev. Thunstrom, who considers it all ”a misguided effort to seek answers or help from spiritual forces other than God,” makes a point of taking his family out of town during UFO Days.

Even some of those in the UFO field are critical of the endeavor.

”We still don`t know enough about what`s going on to justify a landing pad,” said Donald Schmitt, Wisconsin investigator and co-director of the Center for UFO Studies, based in Chicago.

Jerome Clark, vice president of the center, termed Weber`s plan naive.

”We`re dealing with a phenomenon that wants to conduct its business relatively undetected. It doesn`t indicate it wants to have meetings with us,” he said.

Weber says such criticism reflects the competitive nature of the UFO field. ”We`re the new kid on the block,” he said. ”If we`re successful, they`re out of business.”

From Lake City, Pa., to El Cajon, Calif., a number of UFO landing pads have come and gone over the years. They have ranged from well-meaning civic endeavors to efforts by cult groups fired by religious millennialism. All are defunct or gathering dust, like an unused plate set for a dinner guest who never came.

Weber resents such comparisons: ”I guess you could say something has been tried before, but at what magnitude? I feel it`s unfair to mention us in the same sentence with efforts by groups that wear white robes and chant.”

No previous project, it can be said, has approached the magnitude of $50 million in proposed financing. It is a vast amount to raise through public contributions. By comparison, NASA`s Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence project, which scans outer space for alien radio signals, is hoping to win approval from Congress for its proposed budget of $60 million for the next 10 years.

Weber won`t say how much he has raised. An initial outpouring of small donations enabled him to open a UFO Site Center Corp. office in Chippewa Falls, where a telephone is manned eight hours a day. Beyond that, his fundraising strategy seems to fluctuate somewhere between talk of millionaires back East and selling T-shirts and key chains.

No one says they doubt Weber`s good intentions or integrity. The site corporation is formed under the state`s nonprofit laws. If contributions fall short of the goal, Weber said he would turn the money over to reputable UFO research organizations. But no one is holding his breath, either. ”People are taking it all in stride,” said Village President Larry Feiler. ”If it happens, fine. If it doesn`t, well, no one is

When UFOs visited Western Wisconsin

Bob Collins July 27, 2018, 8:31 AM Reposted from MPR News

It’s UFO Days around Elmwood, Wis., this weekend, the 40th year of the celebration of a rash of UFO sightings that earned the area the nickname, “Valley of UFOs” for a time.

We don’t get many news stories anymore about UFO sightings, nor do we have many colorful local personalities anymore who have the nerve to propose the building of a landing strip for UFOs.

So, here’s to you Tom Weber, the former Chippewa Falls, Wis., businessman and Minnesota native in the late ’70s who had a plan to raise $50 million for the project.

He needed $25 million to buy the land, and another $25 million to operate the facility, which included a circle 300 yards in diameter. Buildings housing scientists and radio and computer tracking devices would be placed nearby, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Town officials liked the idea; they were just happy that anybody gave a rip about a town in the middle of nowhere.

But the people who help make life boring, piped up, too.

“The whole thing lacks logic and any depth of real thinking about it,” declared Rev. James Thunstrom, then the pastor of the Elmwood United Methodist Church. He considered it all “a misguided effort to seek answers or help from spiritual forces other than God,” the Tribune reported. He left town during UFO Days each year.

Weber, apparently, was in no mood to be dismissed by such talk.

“I guess you could say something has been tried before, but at what magnitude? I feel it`s unfair to mention us in the same sentence with efforts by groups that wear white robes and chant,” he said.

Weber raised a few bucks, enough to open an office in Chippewa Falls and get a telephone installed and print up a few T-shirts.

All of this, of course, sprung from the April 1976 UFO sighting, a report of which in

Howard Blum’s book, Out There, also reminds us how much we miss this sort of thing in the news business:

It all began when George [police chief George Wheeler], out on an evening’s patrol, noticed an orange glow near the quarry at Tuttle Hill. “Looks like we got a fire out there,” he radioed in. “I’m going to investigate.”

When he drove to the crest of County Road P, he was high up enough to have an unobstructed view. To the north, over a flat hilltop alfalfa field, there it was. “My God, it’s one of those UFO’s again,” he shouted into the police radio. But when he started to describe the craft, he was very calm, under control.

“It’s huge,” he explained over the radio to Chief Helmer’s wife, Gail, who was working as a dispatcher that night. “Bigger than a two-story house.” And he went on that it was silver-colored, perhaps 250 feet across, and that a bright orange beam glowed from its domed roof. The light was so powerful, he couldn’t look straight at it. It hurt his eyes.

And just as he was describing this light, the craft started to rise. That was when he heard the loud whooshing noise. And, before he realized what was happening, a blue ray shot out from the craft. The ray hit the squad car.

The police radio instantly went dead. The chief’s wife was yelling on the other end, “George, can you hear me? Are you all right?”

But George couldn’t hear her. The car was a wreck. Its lights were out. Its points and spark plugs were ruined. And Officer Wheeler was unconscious.

David Moots, a dairy farmer, was driving the babysitter home when he noticed the squad car, its lights off, sitting in the middle of the road. He went over to investigate. He looked inside and saw George Wheeler sprawled across the front seat.

“George, you OK?” he asked.

The police officer didn’t stir. Moots repeated his question.

This time George tried to move. He leaned forward from his seat, and then fell back. He didn’t have any strength, and he looked white as milk.

“What’s wrong, George?” Moots asked. He was really worried.

It took the officer some effort, but he finally managed to speak. “I’ve been hit. Get me to a radio.” His voice, Moots noted, was shaking, full of fear.

“By a car?”

“No,” George Wheeler answered very slowly and distinctly, “by one of those UFO’s.”

The only objects in the sky this weekend will likely be paper plates, dropped from an airplane bearing coupons for local businesses as part of the UFO Days festival.

40 years and over 40 sightings: investigating the unidentified at UFO Days

By Rachel Helgeson on Jul 27, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Red Wing Republican Eagle


Bill Johnson, former UW-Stout professor and UFO investigator, said he wants those who are skeptical about the supernatural to “keep an open mind.” Rachel Helgeson / RiverTown Multimedia

For 40 years Elmwood has celebrated UFO Days and approximately 40 UFO sightings have been reported from the small town since the early 1970s.

But to keep the younger generations in-the-know about Elmwood’s past sightings, retired professor and former UFO investigator Bill Johnson presents a talk on UFOs for the festival.

When Johnson was visiting UFO days in 2014 and a teenage girl selling T-shirts couldn’t tell him why they celebrate UFO days, he recognized the need to keep alive the actual accounts of the witnesses who first saw the aerial phenomena, he said.

This year Johnson will present his investigative information at the Elmwood Auditorium at 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday, July 28 with a speech and PowerPoint presentation titled “UFOs and Elmwood – A Legacy.”

However, Johnson, who became an aerial phenomena investigator in his mid-20s, was eager in a recent interview to explain that the label “UFO,” which stands for Unidentified Flying Object, is a “presumptuous” term.

“Are they really flying like an airplane or a bird? Can’t say, really. Could be some sort of entity passing through a dimension,” Johnson said. “From a purely scientific standpoint, the term ‘UFO’ is a stretch.”

To refer to them as UFOs is common, Johnson said, and went on to describe the sightings in Elmwood.

The first few, both reported in 1975, were experienced by police officer George Wheeler and another by Carol Forster, a school teacher, who also had three children in the car with her during the encounter.

“It’s always a glowing orange ball, it’s always traveling alongside of the vehicle or hovering over the vehicle and then going straight up,” Johnson said, “Although the first one that George told me about was a cigar shape, which is also common UFO shape.”

Although he is not an official psychologist, Johnson used psychology to determine credibility in witnesses’ accounts by studying witnesses’ body language and facial expressions.

He said he never passed judgment on someone, but had the ability to guess what was or was not a valid experience.

“Picking up on how people are reacting to what they say or what they think they saw (is important),” Johnson said.

Most people who boast about their experience are usually a farce, Johnson said, and those that really did see something are more timid about telling the details.

Others don’t speak out because they fear ridicule, like Forster who was made fun of by talk show host Geraldo Rivera on television, according to Johnson.

Since the mid-1970s, other reports have come out, but not as many people formally report anymore because the sightings have become commonplace in the town, Johnson said.

“It’s gotten to be such commonplace that people will say, ‘Yeah, you know, I was driving around and the car kind of quit and the radio’s preset stations changed to a different station. I just sat there for a minute and started it up again.’ It’s not a big deal anymore and it’s not as intense as it was in the mid-70s,” Johnson said.

As investigators and researchers do, Johnson looked for commonalities in the evidence between the accounts and the relationship between the sightings and the geographical location.

Johnson examined the locations of the sightings and what might constitute Elmwood as a hotspot destination for the phenomena, even more so than the infamous Roswell, New Mexico where only one alleged crash was reported.

In the descriptions of the supernatural objects, the objects were commonly spotted near a power line. Johnson said many might think because Elmwood is in a valley that there is enough reason for a supernatural being to land. But unlike Spring Valley or Plum City, Elmwood has a large power plant.

“There may be a relationship between electrical power and somehow the geology of the place that is a positive feature for whatever it is (UFO). I’m just guessing at it,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he did not have a substantial scientific reason why there may be sightings near power lines or the plant, but he said he thinks the energy lost during transmission is something the objects might need and use.

“Almost 50 percent (of energy) is lost from the generating plant to point of use. That’s an appreciative amount of energy that could be used,” Johnson said.

In 1975 Wheeler lost power in his car after closely encountering the phenomena the first time. Johnson said the mechanic he spoke to had to replace every spark plug in the patrol car along with the starter and the coil. The battery was burned out and Wheeler was found unconscious in the front seat, Johnson said.

Johnson said further investigations might happen in Elmwood, and would likely take place between February through March which is when many more sightings have occured.

Sightings may be continue to be reported and filed, but Johnson said nothing is being done by the government as it has never really invested time or money in more investigations.

Although Johnson has never seen anything like a UFO in his time, he said he never hopes to.

“I have no credibility as an investigator. People will say, ‘Oh you investigate them, you wanted to see one’,” Johnson said.

The general public can hear more about Johnson’s investigations during the 40th annual UFO days Saturday, July 28.

While UFO Days is one of the most unique festivals out there, Johnson said, the people of Elmwood want others to “come have fun with them, don’t make fun of them.”

Police Officer’s UFO Sighting Account Wisconsin 1976

Click on the video below for a great narrated illustration of the incident.